I Done Went There

I Done Went There

I have thought and thought how to tell you this…and this title kept coming to mind.

I know it is grammatically incorrect.

I know the title is painful to read…but it just makes me laugh and smile and see the brighter side of things…now that I am on this side of things.  Let me explain where I went recently.

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(Ha!  It wasn’t anywhere like this.)

Almost two weeks ago my middle daughter began complaining of neck pain.  I felt of her neck after more complaints than normal and felt that her lymph nodes were swollen behind one ear.  Dustin wasn’t available that night, so I googled swollen lymph nodes and was relieved to understand that this was a good sign…a sign of the body fighting off some sickness.

So I put on my game face and started giving more fluids than normal and other natural remedies for sicknesses.

Her neck pain got worse so I took her to see my ex-roommate, now Physician’s Assistant, friend. (God bless her especially after all the text message exchanges we had last week!)   She administered a strep test (which was negative) and said the lymph nodes were doing their job and we just needed to give it time.

Oh, time…I love you so much.

By Thursday night, these nodes were still super swollen (and painful) and a low grade fever began.  I am typically not “that parent” who runs to the pediatricians office, but this was day four of my daughter being in constant pain and now she had a fever, I honestly thought maybe we had a negative on the strep test and we could get an antibiotic and all would be well in the world.

Hallelujah and Amen.

And Dustin even offered to take her to the Pediatrician’s office…so bless his heart, he went and sat among all the sick people and all their germs and their germs’ germs.

And he held our little gal’s hand while she had another strep test and a blood test for mono.  He gives the girls strength in situations that involve needles.  I just tend to be extremely quiet and sweaty which does not yield any assistance from Mommy when needles are around.  I just can’t.

I am sweating now just thinking of the needles.

Anyway, all tests were negative and again we were told there are SO MANY viruses that look like mono and act like it…give it a few more days.

So long story short…we ended up having 72+ hours of me administering ibuprofen or tylenol every three hours around the clock to keep her temperature between 101 and 102 (with medicine).  She could not eat ANYTHING for almost that entire time because of her swollen throat (you almost could not see her hangy down thing in the back of her throat…the uvula?).

And one steroid shot on Wednesday afternoon, made the world a better place.  By Thursday morning, we had no fever and our appetite began to come back.
And today when she requested Bojangles for lunch, I did not think twice about its fat or grease content.  If she wanted to eat it, I would oblige.

But here’s where I went.  Until we had this steroid shot, I would look at her suffering, unable to turn her neck, crying from the pain in her throat, trying to sleep but burning with fever and think, “Oh God, please don’t take another child from me!  I cannot lose another child.  I just can’t.”

That’s where I went.

I remembered those feelings of handing my deceased child to the doctors.  Of never seeing a chest rise and fall again.   Of coming home empty-handed and staring out the window in stunned thoughtlessness.

And I let fear take me over.

And I was scared.  Scared for her life and scared for mine without her.

I realize that I was tired and I had never experienced such sickness for myself or any of our children before this.  And I know that some people pull out the “OVERREACTING” card on me.

But to me, it is real.  Loss is a real thing.  And I can relive it very easily even ten years later.

It happens when I hear of someone else losing a baby or a child.  I am so overwhelmed with sadness and brokenhearted that I can hardly function.

And evidently it happens when I am faced with extreme sickness in my own family.  Sigh.

Just for the record, I have learned that when I recognize myself “going there”with my thoughts, I try to take them captive.  Using Philippians 4:8, I can ask myself, “What is true?”  (In this case, my daughter was sick, doctors were not concerned and she would more than likely make a full recovery – even google told me so!)  “What is right?”  And so forth and so on.  ( This is wonderful advice I got from Elizabeth George’s book, Loving God with All Your Mind.)  

Then I try to find verses to cling to in the current situation.

I hope by sharing this, you too, will realize when your mind starts taking you “there.”  Be careful of “What if” thinking and to focus on what is true…and trust the One who is carrying you each step of the way.  And praise Him even in life’s storms.

” Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

“Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
    Be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:9

 

You Can Donate Books!!!

You Can Donate Books!!!

daphne

Many of you have contacted me and said that while you don’t need a copy of this book, you would love to help get these books into the hands of grieving families who have experienced an infant or baby loss.

And I am excited to say that we can do that!

The way to donate books is:  You can purchase a book through me (use my PayPal link and in the comments box, let me know where you would like the books to be sent and how you would like the dedication to be made on the inside bookplate).

Here is the book plate I put in the front of the books that went to WMIT, 106.9 The Light Radio Station:

img_1849Books have also been donated to the Wilkes Regional Medical Center.  Here are the book plates I used for them:

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These bookplates are a simple way to let the receiver of this book know that this book does not hold the opinions of the hospital staff and that they are not trying to force any religion on anyone.  The books is simply a gift to a grieving family.

This is a great opportunity for many reasons.  Since my books are “potentially offensive,” it is a great opportunity for us to put a Christian resource in the hands of grieving parents at an important crossroads in their lives.  I would never force my Christian beliefs on anyone, but I do pray that through my life and my words others will be drawn to the Lord and will understand how much He loves them.

So after much prayer and encouragement from different people (thank you guys for spurring me on…I can get a little too content in my bubble), I have gotten permission to donate these books to the following locations:

WMIT, 106.9 The Light (A local Christian radio station that houses certain books to be mailed to listeners who call in with prayer requests.  I Have a Brother books can be available to listeners who have had an infant/baby loss and are calling in with a prayer request after such.)

Brenner’s Children’s Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC – This is the hospital where Daniel was for two days and where he died.  I cannot say enough good things about this hospital and I am so thankful that we can minister there.  (Hopefully these books will be mailed later this week!)

Wilkes Regional Medical Center – This is a local hospital where I have a contact in the birthing center.  They have received a few books already.

If you would like to donate your books to another location, please let me know where (if you have a contact there, that would be fabulous), and I will be more than happy to work that out!  Just send me a message.  (I have a contact at Levine Children’s Hospital and hope to work that out soon.)

Thank you to everyone who has already donated books – I am so grateful for your support and pray that God will use this book to draw grieving families closer to Himself.

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.”  Hebrews 10:22a,23

Pictured Above:  (L to R)  Troy Norton and Tricia Kelly of the Morning Show, Carol Davis, afternoon host, Director of Programming and Promotions and Jon Wood, afternoon host/Music Director showing the books they received to be given to a grieving family.

Thank you to Carol Davis for getting this picture for me!

October 15th

October 15th

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in the United States.  It is a day for parents to remember the child/children who they hoped would be here on earth, but whose home is heaven.

This month is also recognized as “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness” month.  As such, I have gotten a new opportunity to share at the local library.  In doing some research for my class and for this month, I have found the following memes.  While I cannot say that I agree with everything the groups who have posted these stand for, I found these memes to touch a special place in my heart.

 

Then I came across this poem that touched my heart:

“Some would say I didn’t even know you, but I carried you, felt you grow, longed for the day we’d meet, dreamed of your future.  Not only did I know you, I fell in love with you.” (From Mommies with Angel Babies)

So on this October 15th, I want to encourage you, that if you have had a loss, you are not alone.  And I know that it hurts and that the pain never goes away.  But I hope you find comfort in the assurance that your baby is in heaven.  And I pray that you know that you will one day see him/her/them again.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:10

 

Why share the dream?

Why share the dream?

When my little lady with big eyes had her dream, I was overcome with emotion.  Then fear crept in, what if??  What if she just made it all up?  What if it wasn’t real?  Could I trust my two and a half year old?

That’s a loaded question.  Trust her with what?  With her great-grandmother’s fine china…probably not.  But trust her to tell the truth,  yes.  Those baby blues cannot tell a lie.

But there was a bigger question for me to answer:  Was God trying to send comfort to me through the dream of a little girl?  Could God do such a thing?

I hope we all read that last question and had a resounding answer like, “Of course, God could send you comfort through your child’s dream…God is God and He can do anything!”

When I was in the hospital after Daniel had been born, I remember telling the nurses and doctors that God was God and I trusted Him whether or not my son lived.  And then my son died.  And I had to live that proclamation out.
I will be the first to say that I did not live that out as nicely as I wish I could have, but I had no idea what it meant to grieve or mourn when I said those words.  My heart had never been so broken.
Slowly over time, I was able to gain understanding as to what God had done and was doing through our loss.  I could trust the Lord and not be afraid.  God is still God and I could still trust Him.

And I do.

Now I understand that I will not always understand His answers or desire His answers, but I can trust Him wholeheartedly.  And I hope that is what I am doing moment by moment, day by day.

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

I have had this proverb in my heart since I was a wee little Daphne. Then one day a few years ago, I kept reading…

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”  Proverbs 3:7-8

At the time I was reading this, I had convinced myself that my body was failing.  I may be alone in this, but I can start having a pain or an ailment and all of a sudden, I go there.   I can convince myself that I am dying.  And if I google it, I can confirm my suspicions.

I will stop right here and just praise the Lord that my husband will listen to my diagnoses and disprove them each and every time, though sometimes it would be nice for him to get on board my crazy train for just a minute or two…misery loves company.

So verses seven and eight of Proverb chapter 3 really just encouraged me to put my focus where I thought it had been…on the Lord.  Let Him guide my each and every step and turn away from my doubt and my frustration…to turn away from me.  Put my eyes on Him.  And it will bring life to my bones.

So I decided to share this dream with others.  For I found that it was a gift from the Lord.  I would not be afraid of what people would say or if they would question the dream.  If God gives us a gift, we must glorify Him with it.

For me, this dream was God’s gift of confirming in my heart that I have not lost my children who died before me, but rather I will see them one day in heaven.  And for that I am grateful.


Do Babies Go To Heaven If They Die?

Do Babies Go To Heaven If They Die?

I came across this article today and thought it was encouraging to those grieving the loss of a child – regardless of their age.  While I still read the scriptures about heaven and cannot decipher how it operates and everything about it (and I don’t think I am supposed to understand it completely on this side of heaven), I think this is a well-written article.  I do not know anything about the author of it, so I am not endorsing him/her necessarily, but good article to read nonetheless.

Do Babies Go To Heaven If They Die?

Psalm 28

Psalm 28

Daniel died very early in the morning on January 28, 2007.  My husband pulled out his Bible and read Psalm 28 and then we all cried.

Honestly, I don’t know if I cried because of the words of the Psalm or because of what had just happened, but I know we all cried.

And yet, I remember feeling somewhat comforted.  I believe that is the power of God’s word.  Anytime I am feeling lost, alone or sad, I can read God’s word, the Bible and I know I am not alone, I know that I have a reason for hope and a future.

After we came home and settled into our “new normal” life without Daniel, I remember looking at Psalm 28 again.  The verses that stuck out to me were six and seven:

“Blessed be the Lord!  For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” 

I knew the Lord had heard my prayers for Daniel to live.  I knew the Lord had given me strength to walk this journey.  He had allowed me to have two days to process the idea that my son would not be coming home with me.  That instead my son would be going to his eternal Home. Read more

I am done.

I am done.

I just finished.

I think I am done.

The story God laid on my heart to write and publish is ready to publish, should the Lord see fit to send the funds for such.

And I am in tears.

I don’t want to have a story like this. I don’t want to wonder what it would be like to have a nine-year-old boy living in my house.

And I don’t want to sit here and cry.   I hate crying. It makes me feel sad. And I don’t like sad. I like happy and hopeful. Not sad.

And yet here I am. Overcome with emotion. Real emotion that makes you cry until there is a little puddle beneath your bowed head.

It has been over nine years since I held my son in my arms and his heart stopped beating. Over nine years since I left the hospital and stayed in a hotel room that a friend had gotten for us.  Over nine years since I told the nurses that whether or not Daniel lived or died I trusted the Lord.

And I did. I mean I do. I did and I do. I trust the Lord. His plans are not mine. Read more